A huge asteroid named 2002 AJ129 which is about 1.1 kilometres wide, will be flying by Earth at a distance of about 42 lakh km from Earth on February 4 and this is making quite some people uncomfortable because NASA says that asteroids of certain size are ‘hazardous’ if within 74.8 lakh km from Earth. Well, let’s break the doomsday bubble for once and for all – the big scary asteroid is not going to hit Earth.

So here’s the deal – an asteroid that is larger than the size of any skyscraper ever built on Earth, named as 2002 AJ129 is hurtling towards Earth and will flyby at a distance of 42 lakh kilometres from our little blue planet. To better understand how far it is, the distance between Earth and Moon is 3.84 lakh kilometres – now 42 lakh km might seem a lot and but it is not because we are talking about the infinite-sized space and things that might sound humongous to us – are pretty miniature. The safe distance for any asteroid of the size that AJ129 is, is defined by NASA to be 74.8 lakh km from Earth – which means the hurtling asteroid is in the hazardous zone.

If that asteroid hits Earth on February 4, a decade of cold and darkness, and skies choked with soot, and misery across the planet. Flashbacks of the time when Earth was newly formed and was bombarded by asteroids and comets, that asteroid crashing about 65 million years ago which caused mass extinction on Earth destroying 75% of living species – even the thought of it is haunting. And what is even scarier is knowing that a celestial trouble is hurtling towards us and we can do nothing to stop what has been doomed for Earth. Doomsday is to arrive someday anyway – but, here’s the pick – not on February 4, 2018.

However, the news media is picking up scary headlines saying “Fast and dangerous” and “Doomsday coming” and “Asteroid of death”. Well, when it is mainstream media, people do think about it – if not completely believe. That explains why people have opted to directly ask out NASA that if the asteroid collision is course to kill us all, then why isn’t NASA even talking about it? To that, NASA responded – “Because it’s a lie”. NASA clarified that the asteroid 2002 AJ129 will not hit Earth, in fact, it will get no closer than 2.6 million miles from Earth. AJ129 is one of hundreds of asteroids of a certain size that have flown or will fly within 4.65 million miles of Earth, and are therefore classified by NASA as “potentially hazardous” – none of those were headline to hit us.

The closest AJ129 will get to Earth next month will still be 10 times farther than how far Moon is from Earth. NASA has been tracking AJ129 since 14 years and knows very accurately about its orbits and they know that asteroid 2002 AJ129 has zero chances of colliding with Earth on February 4, 2018 – or anytime over the next 100 years. So then, why are the tabloids freaking out about it so much? Well, because they do it all the time.  Get over it and sorry for being a buzz-kill, but there will be no doomsday on February 4, 2018.

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